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Anthony Edwards’ dunk to Kevin Durant was a defining moment in the NBA



“Passing the Torch” feels like a loving exchange between two people. Think about how you’ll handle a torch – rigorously holding it in your hand while being careful not to move too quickly in order not to burn the person you’re giving it to. I imagine each people’s eyes staring into the fire, knowing that the flame needs to be controlled, but in addition being wary that the wayward embers could break down and hurt someone. When the torch is finally exchanged, there’s likely a nod of acceptance and relief that nobody was hurt. It’s calm.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards’ series-ending dunk to Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant on Sunday, ending the Timberwolves’ four-game winning streak over the Suns, was anything but quiet. It was a violent, explosive dunk that first caught the torch and cemented Edwards as the future, leaving Durant empty-handed in the twilight of his profession.

Even though Durant’s Suns entered the series against Edwards’ Timberwolves sixth in the standings, this was likely the biggest upset of the first round. The Timberwolves were immature, young and prone to late-season meltdowns similar to they did two years ago after they blew the most double-digit fourth-quarter leads in history playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies and last yr, when their team fell on a throw by Wolves center Rudy Gobert hits his teammate, forward Kyle Anderson. If any team was going to fold against a veteran team like Phoenix – led by Durant, who has 4 NBA Finals appearances and two championships under his belt – that might be the Timberwolves.

That’s where Edwards comes in.

At just 22 years old, Edwards had turn into the emotional leader and most significant player on a team that already had 16-year-old point guard Mike Conley, four-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and the aforementioned Gobert, who won three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Edwards has made no secret of his admiration and adoration for Durant, who entered the league when Edwards was still in elementary school. But Edwards continued to attack his hero – he was talking trash from the moment he first played isolation on Durant – and never relented, culminating in a decisive 40-point performance in Game 4 that worn out Durant’s respectable 33 points.

We’ve never seen Durant so completely defeated in a playoff series, especially since he was in great form. The considered anyone having the ability to seemingly demoralize considered one of the biggest scorers in league history seemed inconceivable at the starting of the franchise, let alone years ago when Durant was dominating the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. But it happened with utter destruction.

Which brings us back to the dunk.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (left) and Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (right) talk during the second half of the Western Conference first-round game at the Target Center on April 20 in Minneapolis.

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Each yr brings its share of memorable dunks, but it surely’s rare that a single moment of airborne impact can change the trajectory of a sport.

In 1983, NBA great Julius Erving had his way legendary dunk over Los Angeles Lakers guard Michael Cooper, noting that this was his yr of being the best in the league and its champion. In 1991, Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan previously shook two New York Knicks players dunk to Knicks center Patrick Ewing on the way to his first championship. The dunk marked Jordan’s emergence as the latest king of the game. In 1994, Warriors center Chris Webber invoked one other changing of the guard before taking the ball behind his back. dunking on Suns forward Charles Barkleysignaling that a latest generation of power forwards who took their influence from Barkley, the Round Mound of the Rebound, would soon take over the NBA.

Edwards over KD caused the same kind of tectonic shift.

With lower than two minutes left in the fourth, Edwards placed Beal in isolation. Dribbling between the legs. Left hand hesitation. The first step that moved at supersonic speeds. And the elevation. Durant began to jump to block but realized he couldn’t reach the top of Edwards. So he jumped out mid-jump. But his body was still present enough to be eviscerated by the fury of the impact.

It’s an apt metaphor for the show: Durant realizes for the first time in his profession that he cannot reach the heights of his opponent.

It have to be a humbling feeling that will be felt across the league as luminaries of my generation see their sporting mortality. We are already facing a play-off in which LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Durant is not going to make it out of the first round. We’re just days away from the possibility of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic becoming the only MVP winner to advance to the second round this season. Perhaps previous champions will get a second and third wind in the coming years, but these deep playoff runs feel more like one-offs than signs of recent dynasties. But Durant has the most extraordinary profession of those greats and a future that seems the scariest.

Durant’s Suns have it no first-round draft picks from 2025 to 2030. He has already expressed frustration with the way he was used in the Phoenix offense. Can he force a departure, which might send him to his third team since leaving Golden State in 2019 and the fifth team of his profession, or will he remain with a Suns organization that has no path to a championship ahead of him? and his “only” two titles after joining a Warriors team that had just broken the regular season games record. Either way, Durant’s profession might be difficult to quantify.

He will finish his profession in the top 10 in all-time points scored, and with two Finals appearances under his belt, he may never have a statue built in front of an NBA arena. Durant has played on some version of the super team that’s the Big Three for the last 15 years, and since leaving the Warriors in 2019, he has failed to make it past the second round. Sure, there are some unique circumstances behind the disappointments, but Durant was the leader of every of those teams.

This season, teaming up with Devin Booker (who scored 49 points on Sunday) and Bradley Beal was supposed to be his best probability to break that spell. However, the whole lot fell apart faster than anyone expected. Now Durant looks to a future that’s falling apart.

The Minnesota Timberwolves watch Anthony Edwards dunk during a game against the Phoenix Suns during Game 4 of the Western Conference first round on April 4 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The unknown in all of that is what’s Edwards doing now? He was at all times going to eventually land after taking off to dunk Durant, but his profession was primed for continued growth. His next opponent is the league’s current immovable object in the type of two-time MVP Jokic.

While the Nuggets might be the favorites, the results of this series won’t be as telling as what happens in the coming years. Edwards, along with his gritty defense, million-dollar smile, atomic dunks and off-balance attitude, began the season next, but now he’s on his way. He finds himself in a place he knows from every game: looking down on anyone who dares to get in his way before realizing there is no point in even trying.

This is what happens when you could have a torch and are ready to set fire to the whole lot that gets in your way.

DavidDennis Jr. is a senior author at Andscape and the writer of the award-winning book “The Movement Made Us: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride.” David is a graduate of Davidson College.

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Major league players praise the inclusion of Negro league statistics in major league records




CHICAGO (AP) — Buck Leonard. Charlie “Chino” Smith. Türkiye Stearnes.

Baseball players and fans alike are learning more about the Negro Leagues after statistics on greater than 2,300 players – historical figures resembling Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige and Mule Suttles – were included in the major league record book following a three-year study design.

“You’re going to learn about a lot of names and a lot of people that we may not have heard of,” Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen said Wednesday. “Now that Josh Gibson is at the top of the OPS and batting average rankings and several other categories, that’s great news. But it’s more than just that and numbers. It’s great that you can now learn more about players from the Negro Leagues. …I will be able to dig deeper into some of the names I may not have heard of.”

The 17-member commission, chaired by John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, met six times as part of a meticulous process of examining the statistics of the seven Negro Leagues from 1920 to 1948. According to MLB, nearly 75% of available records were included, and extra research may lead to more changes to the major league rankings.

“It’s really exciting,” Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene said. “I’m going to have to do a little more research and understand some of the history to kind of rewire my brain on some of the best players.”

This August 2, 1942 file photo shows Kansas City Monarchs pitcher Leroy Satchel Paige warming up at Yankee Stadium in New York before a Negro League game between the Monarchs and the New York Cuban Stars. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman, File)

Gibson became the majors’ profession leader with a .372 batting average, surpassing Ty Cobb’s .367 batting average. Gibson’s .466 average for the 1943 Homestead Grays became the season record, followed by Smith’s .451 average for the 1929 New York Lincoln Giants.

The powerful Gibson also became the profession leader in slugging percentage (.718) and OPS (1.177), passing Babe Ruth (.690 and 1.164).

“Baseball history is part of the history of the United States, and I believe that the major leagues’ recognition and inclusion of the Negro Leagues is a huge step toward bringing all the pieces of baseball history together,” said Tyrus Cobb, Ty Cobb’s great-grandson. “And I think it’s really exciting that there’s a new statistical leader in batting average.”

After hearing the news, Tyrus Cobb, 32, of San Jose, California, said he took a better take a look at Gibson’s profession.

“I made sure to look up him, Oscar Charleston and a few of the other guys who were at the top of the list,” said Cobb, who works in industrial real estate. “So I think it’s a really exciting thing for baseball history.”

The inclusion of Negro League statistics also modified the numbers of a handful of players higher known for his or her major league careers.

Willie Mays added 10 hits with the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, bringing his total to three,293. Minnie Minoso was credited with 150 hits for the New York Cubans from 1946 to 1948, bringing his total to 2,113. Jackie Robinson, who on the 1947 Dodgers, he broke the majors’ color barrier by having 49 hits on the 1945 Kansas City Monarchs, bringing his total to 1,567.

“It’s good news for the game,” Washington Nationals pitcher Josiah Gray said. “For Negro League players of the past who were exceptional at what they did, it’s good to be brought into the highlight. It’s really cool to see Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston and so many other names that baseball fans can study and see that there was greater than just major league baseball back then.

The change comes amid a decline in the number of black players at mainstream firms. A study conducted by the Central Florida Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports found Black or African American players made up 6.2% of players on Opening Day rosters in 2023, down from 7.2% in 2022. Both numbers were the lowest since the study began in 1991, when 18% of MLB players were biracial black.

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On June 20 at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants will play a Negro Leagues tribute game.

“I think it’s pretty cool that you’re showing appreciation,” Giants pitcher Jordan Hicks said. “They were two different leagues, but at the end of the day, it was still baseball, and at any time when they got together, you can see that the guys who had excelled in the Negro Leagues were actually performing in the MLB. So I feel it’s fair that in the event that they were still the same guy in the Negro Leagues as they were in MLB, those stats should match, especially if it was in the same era.

Brett Tinker, 56, of Nyack, New York, heard stories about the Negro Leagues from his grandfather, Harold “Hooks” Tinker, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, who played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Harold Tinker shared his love of sports. He told his grandson how often that they had to remain on the team bus because they couldn’t get into the hotel, and he showed off his collection of memorabilia.

When Brett Tinker heard about the inclusion of Negro League statistics, he was moved to tears.

“It’s an honor. It’s too late, not only for my grandfather, but for many players who never had a chance to receive this recognition,” he said.

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After signing a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, Saquon Barkley’s fortune is estimated at $32 million




Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles

Former New York Giants shortstop Saquon Barkley recently signed a contract price an estimated $37.8 million with considered one of the Giants’ biggest rivals, signing a According to AfroTech, he signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is a significant change because he can be playing with considered one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts, on a everlasting playoff team. And while Barkley may face punishment on the pitch, his bank statements is not going to be harmed.

Sportskeeda reported that Barkley’s contract includes a signing bonus of $11,625,000. His average annual salary can be $12,583,333 and his guaranteed money can be $26,000,000. Barkley will receive a base salary of $1,375,000 for the upcoming season as he’ll have already got a sizable signing bonus.

The wealthy gorilla has listed Barkley’s net price is $32 million.

He previously signed a four-year, $31,194,751 contract with the Giants. The contract included a signing bonus of $20,767,092, guaranteed money of $31,194,751 and a mean salary of $7,798,688.

Barkley, 27, spent his entire profession with the New York Giants, racking up 5,211 yards and 35 touchdowns. Now he’ll attempt to bring one other Super Bowl ring to the City of Brotherly Love. The excellent news is that he probably won’t must carry as much of the Eagles’ offense. In New York, he was often the team’s best and most used option on offense.

Pennsylvania is no stranger to running back. He was a star player for Penn State, where he was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Running Back of the Year twice in 2016 and 2017. He also holds the school record for many rushing touchdowns (43) and total touchdowns (53). At Penn State, he rushed for 3,000 yards and amassed 1,000 receiving yards.

The Giants chosen the Power Runner as the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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‘Skip’s not doing well anymore’: Shannon Sharpe bounces back from Fallout with Skip Bayless, Inks’ multi-year deal with ESPN after viral interview with Katt Williams




Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe

A yr after FS1’s “Undisputed” emotional split with polarizing media personality Skip Bayless, who he said had “no respect for him,” things are looking up for Shannon Sharpe and his recent home at ESPN.

Sharpe made his debut on ESPN’s “First Take” on September 4, 2023, after leaving “Undisputed” in June of this yr. Sharpe and Bayless have had some controversial moments during their seven-year tenure, however the three-time Super Bowl champion’s first nine months at ESPN seem like a hit because the network is now rewarding him with an expanded multi-year contract. They say even Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, ESPN’s parent company, has gotten involved in retaining Sharpe and expanding his role. Hollywood reporter.

The recent deal is predicted to offer Sharpe a broader presence on ESPN’s long-running morning show “First Take” and may even appear on the network’s other programs across various platforms, including Athlete reported. Details regarding his performance schedule are expected to be announced at a later date.

“It has been a blessing to be a part of this family,” Sharpe said in an announcement. “Everything about ESPN, Stephen A. and First Take has been amazing. I’m looking forward to expanding my role and showing more of the world what I have to offer. The show goes on!”

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe
‘Skip’s not doing well anymore’: Shannon Sharpe returns from Fallout with Skip Bayless, Inks’ multi-year deal with ESPN after Viral Katt Williams interview (Photo: @shannonsharpe84 @skipbayless/Instagram)

The full terms of Sharpe’s deal were not disclosed, but some fans reacted on social media shortly after news broke of the previous NFL star’s increased role on the network.

“Uncle earns money” – one other said the fan.

“Perfect, he’s one of the few great analysts they have,” one other social media user decided.

“This is the reason Skip and his podcast are no longer doing well,” an wrote on Twitter User X. “The numbers say that the first shot is better without Skip, and it is indisputable that the first shot is the worst without Shay.”

However, some fans miss Skip and Shannon as a duo.

“Shannon Sharpe was better in ‘Undisputed’ than in ‘First Take,'” one fan wrote on Twitter.

“Shannon and Skip are the best combination. It was like a comedy show, very similar to the NBA on TNT crew.” “Shannon and SAS simply feel forced,” it said on Twitter other.

Sharpe currently appears on First Take twice every week alongside outspoken sportscaster and podcast host Stephen A. Smith and a rotating panel of co-hosts.

Sharpe also hosts his own podcast, “Club Shay Shay,” where he interviews celebrities weekly, as well because the late-night show “Nightcap” with Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Gilbert Arenas.

In January 2024, Sharpe sat down with comedian Katt Williams for an episode of his podcast “Club Shay Shay.” The interview went viral, reaching over 70 million views in June. The interview sparked countless memes and conversations about Hollywood culture.

On an episode of Sharpe’s “Nightcap,” he made it clear how he benefited from the interview.

“I just got my check. So whatever you think that I did, three X’s are. So for those who think I made 500,000, three X’s are it. If you think that I made 1,000,000, thrice that. If you think that I made two million, that is three Xs,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe said the Williams interview prompted Iger to achieve out to him personally to discuss his future with the corporate, the Pro Football Hall of Famer said Hollywood reporter in May.

ESPN management described Sharpe as an “incredible addition” to the team.

“Shannon Sharpe is an incredible addition to the First Take team, elevating the show’s momentum with her engaging presence and insightful commentary,” David Roberts, ESPN’s head of event production and studios, said in an announcement. “Shannon’s chemistry with Stephen A. Smith elevated our debates and was another key reason why First Take is the premier destination for morning sports discussions.”

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